In the majority of my recent interviews with credit union executives, the word “dinosaur” was used to describe financial institutions that haven’t quite been keeping up with the times. The first time it was mentioned, I giggled, but by the third time, I realized it was a serious concern amongst financial executives. They winced at the thought of being compared to a dinosaur, and they especially did not wish to experience a similar fate. Rather, they all strived for a modern and sleek appeal, which most of them have sought through the use of technology.
This summer we’ve blogged a lot about how to utilize technology for growth. To sum it all up and to explain how you can equip yourself to be a successful modern institution rather than an antiquated dinosaur, I’ve compiled a list of 5 key technological opportunities for financial institutions. So take a few minutes, look through them, and make sure that you leave this page feeling confident that you’re not stuck in ” The Land Before Time “.
1. Get in the Online Account Opening Game
Ok, we might be a little biased, but for most institutions online account opening is a no brainer. It can expand your institution’s reach, cut your cost per acquisition substantially , and help you cross-sell more efficiently. Convenience is key, so you should take consumer choice into strong consideration and meet consumers where they choose, including online. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with online applicants who on average are younger, wealthier, and purchase more financial products than the average applicant. Sounds good, right? For more information, download our white paper, ” The Future of Account Opening “.
2. Revamp your Website
Recently we’ve seen quite a few banks and credit unions redesign their websites, and the efforts have produced great results. Your website should be up to date, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing. We’ve all seen and promptly left websites that look like they haven’t been updated since 1999, and you don’t want people to do the same on yours. To prevent that, take some time to think about how you want to present yourself online. As Vibe Credit Union proves, a redesign can transform your brand image from basic and boring to slick and sophisticated. For more information, see our recent post about best practices in website design for community financial institutions.
3. Integrate Responsive Design
Everyone is buzzing about responsive web design, but why does it matter? Responsive websites adapt to the size and shape of the viewing environment, be it a mobile web application on your tablet, a window on your PC, or a miniature smartphone screen. For banks and credit unions, it means that consumers can access content on your site from any device without sacrificing viewing experience. And given that consumers are increasingly researching financial institutions and doing their banking on the go, it may be worth looking into. Read more about it here .
4. Go Mobile
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, mobile banking usage has soared over the last two years, increasing from 18% in 2011 to 35% in 2013. And within account opening, our data shows that the use of the mobile channel has more than tripled over the last two years. As we continue on in our multi-device world, consumers are becoming increasingly willing to conduct complex banking business through the mobile channel. What it boils down to is this: the technological sophistication of consumers is growing, so you need to redouble your efforts to reach them through all channels. They’re not coming into branches as much, and they’re checking their phone up to 150 times per day -are you equipped for this shift?
5. Engage Online
84% of banks actively use Facebook as part of their marketing strategy, as do 87% of credit unions . Clearly there’s something there. If approached with a clear-cut plan and commitment, social media can be a great tool for banks and credit unions. If you’re wondering how to best utilize social media, take a look at these tip sheets we’ve developed, one highlighting credit unions , and one pinpointing things that both banks and credit unions could do better.
Before you jump out of your desk chair in panic that you don’t have remote deposit capture or a revamped website, keep in mind that it’s not about being the most technologically advanced credit union or bank out there. It’s about making sure you are considering how to best utilize technology to enhance the success of your institution. I’m not telling you that you’re doomed for extinction if you haven’t integrated all of these ideas into your institution’s plan, but they’re certainly worth considering when strategizing about the future.
Julia is currently a student at Brown University and looks forward to earning an A.B. in Economics in May 2015.
Latest posts by Julia Verbrugge (see all)
- How to Avoid Being a Dinosaur in Community Banking - August 16, 2013
- 7 Things Banks Don’t Do In Social Channels (But Should) - August 5, 2013
- Confessions of a Gen-Yer: on Banking - July 22, 2013